To the editor:
My civil rights were violated and I was discriminated against.
According to Section D of the city charter, all employees shall be hired in the same manner and procedure as all other part-time and full-time employees in the city of Steubenville.
On Dec. 12, in a hand-delivered letter from City Manager Cathy Davison, she said all part-time and temporary employees must be laid off before any AFSCME union members could be laid off.
There were no union members laid off as of Wednesday. The only workers laid off were the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center workers, who are black. The white health department workers were not laid off. They found a way to keep them.
A woman working in the water department bidded to the sanitation department. She never worked a day in that department. She was just put in the MLK center, saying she was doing sanitation work. There is no sanitation work there. There are no blacks in the MLK center at all.
Let us be reminded that two years ago, a woman who was employed in the recreation department was terminated, and after negotiations with the union, she bidded to the sanitation department. She injured herself while working in the sanitation department. After discussion with the administration, she was denied any employment with the city. I believe that was a double standard.
We know there are finance problems in the city at this time, but what was done to the recreation aides at the MLK center was totally wrong.
We were the lowest paid workers in the city. We never got a raise in the years I was there - I worked there nine years with no raise - but we did four jobs: secretary, recreation aide, tutoring and senior citizens bingo and janitor.
We were not just laid off - we were given the shaft. Why?
The MLK center should not be closed. This is the only place in the city for children and adults to go for recreation. The hours are being cut. Now, it's only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on Saturdays. That's the day children used to come to play.
Let us be reminded that all four checks of the recreation aides did not add up to one of the full-time employees. Also, the two employees of the city at this present time at the MLK center are making the same money as they have always made.
Where are we going and where will we be this time next year, city of Steubenville?
Mattie J. Patterson